Wonder adds excitement to every day and is something that I strive to experience as often as possible. For me, sunsets, mountains, and crystal clear, sparkling bodies of water give me that feeling of “wow” and wonder. In preparing to come to Cape Town, I hadn’t even considered that every morning I would wake up to see 3,000+ feet of wonder from my balcony and let alone get to experience the view from the top. Let me tell you, Table Mountain is rightfully ranked as one of the seven New Natural Wonders of the World and I experienced it to the fullest extent during my third week here in South Africa.
As it was a beautiful day, many of my peers and I decided to take advantage of the clear winter day and go up to the top of the mountain that we had been admiring for the last three weeks. In the winter however, the top of Table Mountain is often covered with a blanket of clouds that just graze the top. We found out on our first day here that this cloud cover is ironically called the “table cloth.” Very clever, in my opinion, but I’m a sucker for puns. There was no sight of the Tablecloth on Friday, so we thought we were in the clear. And we were, until we stepped out of the cablecar, onto the top of the mountain...and directly into the clouds.
We were actually above the clouds, or the Table Cloth in this case, and it was surreal. Interesting plants I’d never seen before, bounders to climb on, a boardwalk to walk along and viewpoints off the edge of the mountain were all covered in a mist that extended over the mountain’s cliffs that looked like the edge of the world. While it wasn’t what we expected since there was no view to be seen of below, we found it incredible all the same and were content with the obscure, supernatural looking landscape that was unlike anything that we had ever seen before.
After about 30 minutes of exploring the mountain, a tiny pocket of blue sky started to appear through the clouds. I yelled out “look!” and we watched in amazement as the the clouds and mist rolled over us and completely over the top of the mountain. Within seconds, entirely blue skies and a remarkable 360 view of the city below was revealed below.
We ventured over to the other side of the mountain top and saw sandy beaches meet white capped waves, alongside immense cliffs and the continuing mountain range. You could see all the way down to the Cape of Good Hope, which is the very bottom of the continent. I enjoyed a moment of quiet and wonder as I took in this incredible sight.
Our last moments on the mountain were perhaps the most incredible. The clouds had started to roll in again as we lined up to take the last cable car down, but this time the clouds were lower and rested where the ocean met the sky. It was at this point that we saw the sun set above the clouds and a vibrant orange warmth painted the whole sky. Everyone was in utter amazement.
In one day, I experienced all three of my favorite natural wonders which made for a truly wonderful day in beautiful Cape Town.